Illegal cleaners fight government plans

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Illegal cleaners without residency permits are openly campaigning against the government's plans to make illegality a criminal offence, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.

A number of cleaners have joined the FNV general workers union Bondgenoten, which is campaigning for more rights for cleaners in general, the Volkskrant says.

They have now written a letter, directed at other unions and international labour organisations. The cleaners argue they make a huge contribution to society and the national economy but are not formally recognised by the government.

Making being an illegal immigrant a criminal offence will make them more vulnerable and open to exploitation, the letter writers say.

Some 10,000 and 20,000 women and a smaller group of men are thought to live illegally in the Netherlands, earning their money by cleaning private homes.

Making illegal immigrants a criminal offence is included in the government agreement at the behest of the right-wing liberal VVD coalition partner.


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